Queena has always been high-functioning despite the various issues troubling her. Parts of her childhood were spent in foster care and she spent most of her adolescence avoiding any talks about her family and upbringing. As a teenager enrolled in a gifted program, Queena learned that it was easier to pretend to be what others assumed her to be. By the time she was in her third year of university, Queena had a drawer full of pills that she saw as an easy option and way out. She was going through a difficult period, but it was practically impossible for her family and friends to see that her mental health was deteriorating. She was the one to finally sound the alarm when her mental issues began to take a physical toll on her.
Through her time in university, she was able to obtain the help she sought. In therapy, Queena learned that she was suffering from an eating disorder, anxiety, and major depression. Medications and frequent sessions with a therapist eventually enabled her to regain some form of inner stability. She learned to be critical of her thinking process and to not always trust her inner voice, as it was frequently biased. She also learned to accept disability accommodations, which forced her to face and assess her new reality.
Queena notes that in her quest to maintain her mental health, she has focused primarily on curating the right kind of support system for herself. In addition to her medications and weekly sessions with her psychiatrist, she makes choices about her physical environment and the people she spends her time with. Since having been more active in talking about her mental struggles, Queena has been able to form friendships with people who she can freely open up to and talk about taboo subjects without judgement. Queena has also learned to listen to the wisdom her friends have earned from their own struggles. In order to help control different sources of stress, Queena has also largely dropped social media in order to develop more genuine and positive relationships.
Queena feels lucky to be able to speak freely about her issues and to have connected with others on the topic of mental health. As someone from a culture and profession where mental illness is not often talked about publicly, Queena ardently wants to raise awareness in these environments by sharing her story, opening up dialogue, and generating support for everyone experiencing mental health problems.